Manipur: After 'summons' to Meitei reps, radical outfit Arambai Tenggol says concerns to be conveyed to Centre
The AT had 'summoned' all ministers and MLAs of the valley districts to participate in the discussion held at Kangla fort
Manipuri radical outfit Arambai Tenggol (AT) has claimed that all the Meitei legislators of the Imphal Valley districts met the outfit's leaders in Kangla Fort on Wednesday, and assured them of conveying the concerns of the people to the Centre.
The AT, an organisation of around 50,000 people presently engaged in guarding villages in the valley areas of the state, had 'summoned' all ministers and MLAs of the valley districts to participate in the discussion, though the media was not allowed to attend the meeting.
Addressing a public gathering at Khwairamband Keithel, AT chief Korounganba Khuman claimed, "The legislators, including chief minister N. Biren Singh, today assured that they would to convey it to the Centre".
"Our points included removal of Suspension of Operations (SoO), implementation of NRC (National Register of Citizens), replacement of Assam Rifles, and removal of Kuki illegal immigrants from the Scheduled Tribe list to bring peace", Khuman said.
He claimed that the elected representatives had assured they would act in 15 days' time. "What we wanted to show today is that ministers and MLAs are under the public," he said. "They also agreed not to indulge in internal squabbling among themselves."
Apparently quoting the legislators, Khuman also said, "If the Centre does not listen to our concerns, we (legislators) will take over the movement to protect Manipur along with the people."
Earlier in the day, security was beefed up in and around Manipur's capital Imphal as the AT asked all ministers and MLAs of the valley districts for a meeting at Kangla Fort.
Security forces in full battle gear were seen guarding the high-security area where the Raj Bhavan, CM secretariat, Manipur Police headquarters, 1st Manipur Rifles complex and Kangla are located. The forces barricaded all the entry points to the fort, which served as the royal seat of Manipur's kings until 1891.
Thousands of AT volunteers gathered in Imphal on Wednesday ahead of the meeting, which had been scheduled for 10 am, and the MPs and MLas began coming into Kangla by around 9.30 am. The meeting ended at about 11.00 am, with the representatives allegedly being made to take an 'oath' inside the fort.
Meanwhile, a three-member Union home ministry team met AT leaders at the residence of Rajya Sabha MP Leishemba Sanajaoba on Monday, an official said. Sanajaoba was among those present at the Kangla meeting.
AT has demanded the delisting of Kukis from the ST list, deportation of refugees to camps in Mizoram, border fencing, replacement of Assam Rifles with other paramilitary forces, and revoking the SoO agreement between the Centre and Kuki militant groups, officials said.
Arambai Tenggol (a Meitei phrase meaning 'dart-wielding cavalry'), has in the past been described as a radical organisation, or radicalised armed militia. It is also a revivalist organisation that aims to reestablish the pre-Hindu, native Sanamahi religion among Meiteis.
With inputs from agencies